HER-2 positive breast cancer is known to develop and metastasize faster than other forms of breast cancer due to the existence of high levels of HER2/neu protein in these tumor cells.
Scientists recently studied the effects of omega-3 on HER-2 breast cancer and found that this vital nutrient has an immense and positive impact on tumor development and growth(1).
The study – conducted on mice – showed that omega-3 fatty acids are actually absorbed and integrated into tumors in mammary glands. When this occurs, the tumorous tissue actually begins to change.
Researchers also found that omega-3 consumption activates the immune system which allows the human body to prevent and kill cancer by blocking the normal pathways that allow tumors to develop and spread.
What Are Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 is what is known as an essential fatty acid. This means that it’s essential to your survival as a human and, unlike other critical nutrients, your body cannot make omega-3 essential fatty acid on its own. This key nutrient must be obtained from your diet or supplements.
But, are you taking the right kind?
What You Need To Know About Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
This is one of the few supplements that I recommend to all of my clients and when I speak at events. And, although most people assume that only vegans need to supplement omega-3, that’s actually not the case. The fact is that the vast majority of humans on the planet are deficient in this key nutrient, even meat eaters.
To understand why, it’s important to understand where omega-3 comes from and the various types available. There are three types of Omega 3 that your body needs to function – EPA, DHA, and ALA:
- EPA and DHA are found in various seafood and marine sources. This is a superior source of omega-3 fatty acids and is most bio-available for use in the human body.
- ALA comes from plant sources such as nuts and seeds. This is an inferior source of omega-3 and must be converted to EPA and DHA to be effective for human health.
DHA And EPA Are Far More Effective At Preventing And Reversing Cancer
In the study referenced above, scientists found that DHA and EPA prevented the development of HER-2 positive breast cancer in one-third of the mice. They also concluded that these two forms of omega-3 reduced existing tumors by up to 70%.
Although ALA was said to be beneficial in the prevention and reversal of this type of breast cancer, the mice were required to ingest much higher levels in order to achieve the same results.
Given that many people don’t care for seafood and marine products or don’t consume enough of these items on a regular basis, most adults (and many children) are deficient in omega 3.
In regard to vegans, many are not aware of the low conversion rate of ALA to DHA and EPA, so they too are not taking in adequate amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Do Vegans Need To Eat Fish?
The short answer is no.
I do not recommend seafood consumption due to the high levels of contamination found in wild-caught fish, and the known toxins found in farm-raised fish, which include vaccines, GMOs, PCBs, and bacteria, as well as unnecessary antibiotics. There are also documented, negative health effects associated with fish intake including heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer, such as estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer(2-4).
While everyone should include a high-quality DHA and EPA supplement in their diet, it’s not necessary for anyone to consume seafood in order to obtain these nutrients.
There are now incredible, plant-based and marine-based omega-3 supplements on the market which provide all of the necessary DHA and EPA to minimize your risk of diseases. And, the best part is that there’s no “fishy” aftertaste or smell.
- Liu, Jiajie, Salma A. Abdelmagid, Christopher J. Pinelli, Jennifer M. Monk, Danyelle M. Liddle, Lyn M. Hillyer, Barbora Hucik, Anjali Silva, Sanjeena Subedi, Geoffrey A. Wood, Lindsay E. Robinson, William J. Muller, and David W.l. Ma. “Marine fish oil is more potent than plant based n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention of mammary tumours.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, December 27, 2017. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.12.011.
- Kaushik, Manas, Dariush Mozaffarian, Donna Spiegelman, Joann E. Manson, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu. “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, fish intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 90, no. 3 (July 22, 2009): 613-20. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.27424.
- “American Seafood: Something’s Fishy.” The Physicians Committee. February 12, 2018. http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/american-seafood-somethings-fishy.
- Stripp, Connie, Kim Overvad, Jane Christensen, Birthe L. Thomsen, Anja Olsen, Susanne Møller, and Anne Tjønneland. “Fish Intake Is Positively Associated with Breast Cancer Incidence Rate.” The Journal of Nutrition 133, no. 11 (November 01, 2003): 3664-669. doi:10.1093/jn/133.11.3664.